Gia ran towards the door but couldn't help getting drenched all over. It was pouring, literally, and Gia was wondering when she had last seen the rains so bad. She waved at John who had so kindly offered to drop her home, at this late hour. John waved back from inside the car and drove away. Gia turned towards her door and after fumbling for a few seconds, found the keys to her home. Home. Yes, this was her home. She lived alone, all by herself, but she was never lonely. She liked being alone. Friends would drop in occasionally but she loved to have her home all to herself. It was her cocoon and she felt the same warmth as she feels everyday when she opens the door as she did today. It was dark, very dark inside. Gia switched on the lights. She threw her bag on the table and slumped down on the couch. She was tired. She closed her eyes and instantly was summarizing the day’s events……getting late to the office thanks to the traffic, problems with team members, Jenny, her sister, upset for not having called for more than a week……. It was when this train of thoughts ran through her mind that she first felt it. She felt someone…someone in her room. Gia opened her eyes but saw no one. She listened, but didn’t hear anything. Maybe it was her imagination. She sighed and closed her eyes again. “I am tired!” she told herself. “Am going to hit the bed earlier than usual tonight…” And there it was again! The same feeling! Gia sat up. She looked around, but all she could see was the big window of the room which opened to the lawn. The curtains were flying from the storm outside. It looked eerie but Gia assured herself that there was nothing wrong. With the little courage that she had she got up and was just about to move when she felt the presence so close that she turned. And then it hit her. She felt a mass of emotions overpowering her. Gia closed her eyes. She saw flashes. A happy life, filled with laughter and joy, and then the excitement and pleasure of falling in love, the dreams of a beautiful life together, the ugly face of deception, tears, frustration, anger , and then…….betrayal! Gia opened her eyes. She was gasping and had tears in her eyes. She realized that someone was trying to tell her something. Unwillingly, she closed her eyes again. As if someone was influencing her. She could see clearly now. The evil face of a man, who had his hands around a woman’s neck, strangling her! The woman was holding onto him when she pulled out the golden chain that was dangling from his neck. It had a beautiful pendant with an “R” embossed in it and painted with a light shade of pink. Gia could feel the agony of the woman, not the fear of death but the pain of being betrayed by someone she trusted the world with. Tears ran down her face. She didn’t want to control them…she let them flow…and then… everything went blank.
When Gia opened her eyes, she found herself lying on the couch with a splitting headache. It was 7 in the morning and she slowly sat up and thought about last night. She raked her brains enough to make sense out of it and finally labeled it as a dream. A dream that seemed so real that she had almost believed it!
The next 2 months were regular and nothing out of the ordinary happened. Then one day she received a parcel form her Aunt Ann. There was a small box and a letter. Gia sat down to read the letter first. Aunt Ann always wrote lengthy letters. She had moved into her new home and found the neighborhood quite satisfactory. Also, Uncle Henry had been making new friends to bore them with his old war time stories! And then the letter ran with the little events taking place in their new home. While concluding, Aunt Ann wrote that when she was moving her things from her old place, she had found her mother’s souvenir and that she thought Gia might be interested to keep it. It was all that was left of her mother’s remembrance. Gia put down the letter and took the box in her hand. She had always been fond of her mother and anything belonging to her would definitely be dear to her. She couldn’t wait to see what was inside and opened the small maroon box. And as she opened it, her eyes grew wide and her mouth dropped open. She couldn’t believe her eyes! There, in the tiny box, lay a golden chain and a pendant with an “R” embossed in it and painted in a pink shade.